At the end of the first leg of a route 66 drive from Chicago to St Louis is the Gateway to the West where you are greeted by the sight of The Arch on the St Louis banks of the Mississippi River. Impressive enough in itself, but you cannot eat or drink it, so I retired to the adjacent Laclede’s Landing district, an area of refurbished warehouses full of bars, resturants and more importantly a brewery.
Morgan Street Brewery is a micro brewery that has been going for about two decades, most importantly it was serving some great beer. According to the menu you could get a ‘brewksi’ which was a sample selection of five beers, but our barman was kind enough to give us tastes of pretty much the whole daily selection anyway to help us to choose. I am usually a fan of the “Honey Wheat” beer, but on this occasion it was outdone and surpassed by the “Munich Helles” described as “Pleasant, bready, and sweet are all adjectives describing this classic German styled lager. There is a presence of medium to low spicy hop bitterness. The appearance of our Munich Helles is slightly darker in color than its commercial counterparts, but it boasts clarity and a creamy white head. Helles has a medium body with medium carbonation. This beer truly shows off Munich malt at its best.” On the menu it was described as an “All day long” German Lager. Not a chance, it was way too hot to down too many of these draughts and by my second beer I was in dire need of some food to soak up the alcohol that was started to ease its way into my blood stream. Lucky then that this place also served food.
I wasn’t too adventurous and opted for the House Classic of a “Morgan Street Burger”. It was a ‘Fresh formed 8oz ground beef patty on a toasted bun for $7.95, I decided to add some hickory bacon and cheddar cheese to mine just to up (or down) the health levels a tad. It came with garnish of lettuce, tomato and onion, plus a pickle which I just sneered at across the plate (somewhat unkindly I expect – but I don’t think that there is a pickle cruelty help line set up just yet for it to register a complaint). The burger also didn’t come with fries or chips but instead the potato option was described as ‘coniques’ these were basically Deep fried mashed potato bites pre-browned and shaped like a miniature egg, they were very creamy inside and quite a nice change. The burger itself filled a hole, it was pretty easy to eat and it was medium as requested. Bacon was good, bread was good, heck even the salad was good, but I was on my next beer by now and anything was going to work.
I heartily recommend the brewery for its beers and food, but it is a long way off the Chicago Elevated Railway in a whole different city. However if you still want to source your food by train you can alight at the Metrolink- Laclede’s Landing Station and walk about 5 minutes to the brewery at 721 N. 2nd St. St. Louis. Check out their website at http://www.morganstreetbrewery.com/